October 21, 2016


Cabinet shakeup rattles Iran (Rohollah Faghihi, October 20, 2016, Al Monitor)

Though all three were said to have stepped down voluntarily, various reports indicate that Rouhani wasn't content with them, an idea that was affirmed by a government official. Mohammad-Bagher Nobakhat, the spokesman for Rouhani's administration, appeared on state TV on Oct. 19 to explain the reason behind the Cabinet reshuffle. Nobakht said, "The change is aimed at improvement. ... The president's goal is to fulfill expectations as best as possible."

Elaborating on Jannati's resignation, the spokesman added, "When Mr. Rouhani concluded that by changing the minister, the entire cultural field's performance would be better, he made the call." Nobakht then explained the change of education minister, saying, "Despite Mr. Fani's abilities, it was decided that a more systematized person should take over."

Since Rouhani took office, the three ministers, especially Jannati, have been at the center of controversies.

Jannati's retreat in the face of hard-liner pressure against holding concerts was met with furious criticism from Reformists and moderates, and even annoyance from Rouhani himself.

In his resignation letter to Rouhani, Jannati wrote, "I do not see myself able to continue serving in this field, and I want to see the government pursue its cultural plans in a calm situation devoid of tension." However, Jannati mentioned that his leaving the office would not change the overall situation and "the propaganda will be intensified in the next few months."

The Reformist Shargh newspaper reported Oct. 20 that Jannati's resignation may have stemmed from "supreme-level" officials' "dissatisfaction" with him. 

Posted by at October 21, 2016 9:59 AM